Jaylen Brown to return Monday vs the Bucks and a prediction on a new starting 5
Getting Jaylen Brown will be a huge boost for the Celtics who come back to Boston reeling from an embarrassing trip out west. Marcus Smart is listed as "Probable" for tomorrow's game with a non-COVID illness. The Celtics have been rather snake bit by the "non-COVID illnesses" in addition to the COVID ones this season.
I'm guessing Smart will play tomorrow and start at the point. Ime Udoka hinted at a possible starting line-up shake-up after the Suns loss, so Jaylen Brown replacing Dennis Schroder in the starting 5 would be one obvious switch. I also think that Udoka might finally put an end to the starting two bigs in an era where you can really only play one at a time. Grant Williams for Robert Williams would be the switch I'd expect.
Udoka tends to favor vets, so I don't think he will bench Horford. Al will miss enough games this season (and have some maintenance ones off as well) that Time Lord should still get a bunch of starts. So if Udoka decides to shake things up I'd predict a Smart, Brown, Tatum, Grant Williams, Horford starting 5.
Statistically speaking, having Horford come off the bench makes sense, but I just don't see Udoka making that call at this point.
Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum & Robert Williams outscore opponents by an average of 7.2 points during the 17.5 minutes per game in which they share the court. That's the best plus/minus rating in the East among all 50 four-man combos that are averaging at least 15 MPG